FARRELL UPMC ends role in lung research

The local hospital was one of only 33 screening sites for the national study.
FARRELL, Pa. -- UPMC Horizon has completed its participation in the National Lung Screening Trial, having enrolled 695 local participants for the research.
The study began Sept. 1, 2002, to compare the results of spiral computed tomography (CT) and standard chest X-rays to determine if one is more effective than the other in detecting early stages of lung cancer.
One of 33 sites
The Shenango Valley campus of UPMC Horizon was one of just 33 facilities across the country selected to be a screening site, and the local hospital began that process in October 2002.
The 695 local participants are people between the ages of 55 and 74 who are current or former smokers.
The study recruited more than 50,000 participants nationwide before ending that phase of the trial in January.
The participants will be randomly selected to get free chest X-rays or spiral CT scans every year for three years for the investigative phase of the study. They will get the same test each year. Researchers will continue to contact participants at least once a year until 2009.
The National Cancer Institute, which is sponsoring the research effort, said it is designed to show if either test is better at reducing cancer deaths through earlier detection.
The spiral CT scan can pick up tumors well under one centimeter (less than a half-inch) in size; the chest X-ray picks up tumors between one and two centimeters (about a half- to three-quarter-inch), according to the institute.
The X-ray offers a two-dimensional view of the organs in the chest, and the spiral CT scan rotates around the patient to give a three-dimensional image.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, killing more than 150,000 people in 2002, the institute said.